|"The Horn of Gondor" by Donato Giancola|
|Other names||Horn of Boromir|
|Owner||Vorondil and descendants up until Boromir|
|Appearance||White horn tipped with silver|
c. 20th century, Third Age
Amon Hen, 26 February T.A. 3019
|Notable for||Can be heard anywhere in Gondor|
|Gallery||Images of the Great Horn|
The horn was made from the wild white Kine of Araw of Rhûn, which was likened to an aurochs. It was white itself, tipped with silver and inscribed with ancient characters. It was said in legend that if the Horn was blown anywhere within the bounds of ancient Gondor, its call would not pass unheeded.
History[edit | edit source]
The Great Horn was made from the horn of a wild-ox of Rhûn. Vorondil the Hunter, the father of Mardil Voronwë, hunted the beasts in the far fields of the East. So, after Mardil Voronwë it passed down to every eldest son. From Denethor, it passed down to Boromir, who wore it with him on a baldric.
Boromir bore the horn with him when he went to Imladris, and held it on his lap during the Council of Elrond. After he was chosen to be one of the Fellowship, he let the horn ring through Rivendell. He would wind the horn twice more. In reply to the meager horns of the Orcs in Moria, the Great Horn bellowed like the shout of many throats under the cavernous roof. Though it repelled the attackers for a while, they returned after the last echo disappeared.
The last time the horn was rung was shortly before its destruction, on February 26, on the slopes of Amon Hen, near Parth Galen. While fighting, Boromir created a sound so loud that it could be heard in Minas Tirith. Sadly, the little help that could come - the rest of the Fellowship - could not make it in time. Though the Uruk-hai were at first dismayed and drew back, they returned more fierce than ever. In the fight that cost Boromir's life, the horn was cloven in two.
Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas laid it in the elven boat with Boromir and his weapons and sent it down the falls of Rauros. The two parts of the horn fell out of the boat, and were found several days later. One was found in the reeds near the mouths of Entwash on February 28, the other further down the river on February 30. They were brought to Denethor, who held them on his lap, anxiously waiting for news of his beloved son. Those answers came, eventually, when Gandalf brought Peregrin Took, witness to Boromir's last stand, before the Steward.
Inspiration[edit | edit source]
One of the many[source?] similarities between Roland, the paladin of Charlemagne, and Boromir is that both bore a white horn. Like Roland in battle with the Saracens blew his horn to call for Charlemagne, Boromir called for Aragorn. In both cases, help came too late.
Portrayal in adaptations[edit | edit source]
|Great Horn in adaptations|
- Boromir blows the horn after he has been hit by many arrows. Boromir's signal has two tones, the second higher than the first (it's the same sound heard by other horns, Rohirrim or Hobbits'). It survived the battle without being broken.
- Boromir winds the horn in Rivendell, where it produces a clear sound of five notes. At the advice of Pippin, he blows it again at Amon Hen, which is heard by the others.
- The Horn is a white horn. Boromir blows it at Amon Hen, three short blows twice. When Lurtz shoots arrows at Boromir, the horn appears broken when the third arrow hits him.
- Though Boromir does wear the horn, he does not use it.
- After telling Frodo and Sam of how he found a boat with Boromir's body on the Anduin, Faramir holds the two pieces in his hands.
- The Horn of Gondor is one of Boromir's powers. It weakens nearby enemy units.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile"
- Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 265
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Window on the West"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Departure of Boromir"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Minas Tirith"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Ring Goes South"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Bridge of Khazad-dûm"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Uruk-hai"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, "Time-scheme for The Lord of the Rings" (Marquette MSS 4/2/18) in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 469
- Gerard Seaman, "Old French Literature", published in J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia (edited by Michael Drout), p. 468-9
- Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 359
- J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, "Borimir's Sacrifice"
- The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series), "The Council Of Elrond"
- The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series), "The Mirror of Galadriel"
- The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series), "The Breaking of the Fellowship"
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (extended edition), "The Breaking of the Fellowship"
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (extended edition), "The Window of the West"
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (extended edition), "Sons of the Steward"
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (extended edition), "Minas Tirith"
- The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth, "Manual"